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Another Reason to Get Your Zs: Reduced Blood Pressure

If you're stressed out or overworked, it's not uncommon to miss an hour or two of sleep each night. It may be doing more harm than you think. Besides making you cranky in the morning, new research shows that missing sleep regularly can lead to high blood pressure. Adults in the study who missed an average of an hour of sleep each night over a five-year span increased their risk for developing hypertension by 37 percent. High blood pressure can put you at risk for cardiovascular problems such as heart attack and stroke.

Adults typically need between seven and nine hours of sleep, but on average, most only get about six hours. Aside from high blood pressure, not getting your quota of Zs has also been associated with weight gain, an increased risk of heart disease, and a compromised immune system, which means you'll get sick more often. So for your health's sake, not just your sanity, make getting a good night's sleep a priority. How many hours do you typically sleep in a night?

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